And just a few of the reasons why this college celiac is all about the easy dinners. This particular recipe lands on my menu at least twice a week, and I'm constantly craving the simple combo of unprocessed carbs, protein, and healthy fats. Besides, nothing says comfort food like a stuffed baked potato ready for eatin' in a mere seven minutes!
Just imagine a baby red potato, fluffy in the middle and crisp at the skin. Top it with tender black beans and ground turkey, juicy broiled veggies, creamy avocado, plus a few shreds of gooey melted daiya cheese - and poof! You've invented a new game called seven minutes until (edible) heaven!
To get started on your own potato present, gather a few simple ingredients from your pantry, fridge or freezer. Note that, to make this a college-friendly seven minutes, certain ingredients should be prepared ahead of time.
1 large baby red/golden potato (or a medium russet)
1 large handful of chopped veggies (I use green beans; sauteed spinach; sliced zucchini, squash, and radishes)
1 serving of pre-made ground turkey, shredded chicken, or vegan protein source (optional)
1 serving of black beans (I defrost bags of black beans from the freezer)
1/2 a ripe avocado
1 small handful of daiya cheese (or your favorite dairy/vegan cheese)
Whipping up this recipe is just as simple as it sounds! Start by turning on your oven's broiler, chopping your veggies into thin slices, coating them lightly in olive oil and popping them on a baking tray in the oven. Spending on how thinly the veggies are sliced, I usually cook mine for about 5-6 minutes, rotating the tray once. You could also alternatively saute them on the stove top for a baking-free dinner.
While the veggies cook, poke holes in your potato with a fork or knife and toss it in the microwave to cook. I usually cook mine for around 5 minutes, but the time will vary depending on the potato's size and your microwave's power. I love boiling or baking my potatoes in the oven too, but when I'm crunched for time, microwaving is the way to go!
If you need to defrost any ingredients (as I usually do!), you can do so in the microwave after the potato is cooked and cooling on your serving dish. As a person cooking for one, I've found that freezing ingredients that I bake in large portions - like beans, meats, or sauces - keeps food from going bad and adds easy variety to my weekly meals.
Once all of the components are cooked, I usually stack everything in a bowl, toss on some cheese, and microwave it all for a final 30 seconds. A small sprinkling of melted cheese always turns my potato from great to gloooooorious! (At least in my taste buds' opinion!)
Like most of my other recipes, this dinner is extremely versatile. I've eaten it with leftover salmon and sauteed mushrooms, pesto sauce instead of cheese, a potato given the broiled butterfly treatment and using veggies all sauteed in chicken stock and daiya cheese for the ultimate gooey feast. And all of these versions have tasted equally scrumptious - so get experimenting!
With classes in full swing, lots of intentional and unintentional exercise (like walking to my boyfriend's dorm across campus!), and loads of homework, this celiac needs all the easy fuel possible. And a healthy dose of nutrients and flavor doesn't hurt either!
And while I've never played the original "seven minutes in heaven," I have fallen in love with this seven minute dinner. Bon appetit!
What's your go-to easy dinner? What would you stuff your potato with? Comment below!